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A little bit of history July 3, 2009

Posted by Galaxy in Musings.
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Galaxy storefrontSpecial thanks to Lorraine Hussey at the Hardwick Historical Society for researching and sharing this information!

If bricks could talk, the building that has been the home of The Galaxy Bookshop for the past 12 years could tell you a lot of stories. Most people know that the building used to be a bank — even if you never had a savings account here, you’d probably be able to guess that after seeing the massive vault in the center of the store. Until recently, though, we didn’t know many of the details about the actual building. Lorraine Hussey of the Hardwick Historical Society did some research into the town records and Hardwick Gazette archives has shared her discoveries.

A few highlights:

  • The building was erected in 1893.
  • The original tenants were the post office and the Hardwick Savings Bank and Trust Company on the first floor. Josiah C. Spaulding’s photography business, Spaulding Studio, occupied the third floor for over fifty years.
  • The Hardwick Savings Bank remodeled the building in 1920, and it was at this time that the large vault was installed. From a Gazette article of January 20, 1921:

New Quarters of The Hardwick Savings Bank and Trust Company are Commodius and Especially Fine in Every Detail
The bank has the most modern burglar-proof equipment in Vermont.

And from February 3, 1921:

In their completed state the rooms come up to all expectations in convenience and attractiveness. The rooms, furnishings, vault, mechanical equipment, change machines, etc. aid in making the institution a model of its kind and few towns the size of Hardwick can boast of its equal.

  • Dr. Bernard Beaupre’s dentistry practice was housed in the building for some time during the 1940’s and ’50’s. (According to Ms. Hussey, “Any [Hardwick Academy] student during the late 40’s-50’s will vividly and with complete clarity remember their annual visits to Doc Beaupre! Avah Peck, area nurse, was stout enough to correct any misbehaviors!”)

If you have memories of visiting the Hardwick Trust Company, Dr. Beaupre, or any of the other tenants of the building, we’d love to hear your stories. If you’re not quite old enough to remember that far back, find someone who is, and ask them for their stories of Hardwick “back in the day.” You might be surprised by some of the things you learn about our town!

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